Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Is Being Plus Sized the "Norm"?

So I'm chatting on Tinder with this guy. Don't hate me. I'm single and I need to do some sort of online dating to keep my sanity. The man I'm chatting with is a VERY nice man, a few years older than me, with his life together. Quite the refresher in the online dating world. He asked about my hobbies, and I mentioned this blog. He asked what I blog about. I said the main theme is being a plus sized woman in an average world. His response? "You live in America, being plus-sized is becoming the norm." So I asked why I was still persecuted for being plus sized?  And that inspired this blog post.

I live in America. The U S of A. The land of the free and home of the brave. And the hot dog. And the hamburger. And fast food. And processed foods. And high fructose corn syrup. No wonder more people in our country are considered "overweight" than "normal" weight. (However, I have some STRONG words about the BMI system that will be saved for another time).

However, I AM still persecuted for being plus sized. I am a size 16-22 depending on the brand, but really an 18/20 on most days. When I go to a store, these sizes are SOLD OUT! It is impossible to find clothes in my size because so many other women need clothes in my size. And that's when they have a decent plus sized section. Let me tell you how much I LOVE walking into Kohls and the Plus Sized section is one-tenth of the size of the rest of the "Ladies" section. For one, why do we need our own section of all?! Why cant we just be at the back of the regular racks? Is it really so hard to add a few more sizes?  But why is our section so small when so many people need to shop there?! 

And then the clothes themselves. Overpriced, I get it, they're using more fabric, not THAT much more fabric. And then, if you're going to use all that extra fabric, could you PLEASE be so kind as to make it shaped at all in stead of the baggy tents that we're being forced to wear?!  We have curves, more than a lot of the thinner ladies that you're obsessively designing for, so could you perhaps accentuate them a bit? Let us show off the figures that we DO have!

Of course, those are just the stores that have clothes for us. Do you know how painful it is to walk into a store and ask "Do you have clothes for me?" and then to be looked up and down by some random cashier and told "No." Sometimes with a scoff as if I'm stupid for even asking. It's even more painful to know how hardened I've become to that situation, that I'm used to it and it's just a part of life now.

On dating sites, I get looked over because I honestly mark "overweight". Not "could lose a few" or "a little extra". "Overweight". People look at me and assume I'm lazy and lack self control because I've been overweight my whole life. In fact, many people still think "fat shaming" is an acceptable way to encourage weight loss. Healthful food is too expensive for most people to afford, as well as many gym memberships, and ESPECIALLY personal trainers. Doctors ignore my blood tests and the facts about my health to tell me "I'm overweight and unhealthy" simply based on the number of my weight and the way I look. I am healthier than many thin people, and my slow metabolism shouldn't be a factor in that. And no way in HELL am I giving up bread to look your brand of "ideal".

It has been proved that overweight people will be looked over for jobs. AS a musician, I KNOW I am judged while I am up on stage. I had a flute teacher who I was doing a trial lesson with mention my weight. It was terrible. I have worked my whole life to be comfortable with my weight. My family has teased me my whole life. I was overweight as a child. My family called me ugly. I was told no self-respecting man would ever have romantic feelings for me.

So, is being plus sized now the norm in America? Statistically, YES. However, that doesn't mean that overweight people are treated the same way as anyone else.  They're still judged. People are still undereducated about the reason for fatness, overweightness, or obesity. They also don't realize how hard it is to LOSE the weight. I am happy with my body. Let it be known. But I'm always on a quest to BETTER myself, and my body. I have started C25K and I'm eating better. And I've lost very few pound. But I'm healthy. I'm hot. That's what matters. It could take me YEARS to lose weight, and I'll never be a size 0. But no one knows or cares about that. They care how I look now. And THAT is why I'm persecuted for being plus sized.

What do you think? Is being overweight the norm in today's world? Are people becoming accepting of it? Or are overweight people persecuted? Should overweight be accepted like everyone else?!

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